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To think there are reasons for favouring mothers?

(181 Posts)
AnneNonimous Fri 04-Jan-13 23:28:30

I am well prepared to be completely flamed for this but here goes.

I see a lot of stuff on here about equal rights for parents - that there is no reason why a mother should be favoured over a father when it comes to caring for their children etc. I'm not 100% sure what the current situation is now when people go to court, I know mothers generally were favoured over fathers unless there was a very good reason for them not to be. If someone could update me I'd be grateful!

Now I would like to say that I do think fathers should have equal responsibilities to their children. That fathers should always have access rights unless there is a child protection issue.

But AIBU in thinking that there is good reason for favouring mothers when it comes to divorces and residency?

As a mother I know it would just kill me to have my son not live with me. His dad doesn't and has never felt that way. He might think it would be better if he did but he doesn't feel what I would feel. And to me this seems to be the general case. It just isn't the same. My dad was and is a great dad, I know he loved me as much as my mum did. But there was still something very different. She still misses me terribly if we are away from eachother for a long period of time. And he never seemed to feel that.

I know there are exceptions, but there must be a reason why so many men walk away from their children so easily when so few women can do that? I know of countless men that have walked out on their kids very easily. I know of one woman - who was a drug addict all the time.

I'm not sexist I don't think. There is just an obvious difference in being a mum and being a father and I'm sure I can't be the only one to see that?

chandellina Sat 05-Jan-13 00:12:34

Yabu, most of it comes down to social factors, IMO. It's just not as accepted for a mother to give up care of her children, no matter who might be the better parent or want custody. I think mothers also are conditioned to feel a greater responsibility for their children.

zippey Sat 05-Jan-13 00:14:50

Anne Im sorry that is what I thought you were implying. If that is not what you were implying can you tell me what you mean when you say "I know he loves DS very very much but clearly it's different to what I feel?" in the post I referenced?

StupidFlanders Sat 05-Jan-13 00:16:09

I have 50:50 care with my ex. Please don't assume my children suffer with sub par parenting. Ridiculous.

bickie Sat 05-Jan-13 00:16:30

I think YABU but I wonder if perhaps your child is still very young? I would have possibly thought the same as you when my DC were preschoolers - even though my DH loved them just as much as me - it was me they wanted to go to when hurt etc. now they are a bit older And DH and I are able to split parenting 50/50 - I could never say they should be with me over him. He is annoyingly amazing with them - and I know it would break their hearts just as much to be separated from their DD as their DM.

SamSmalaidh Sat 05-Jan-13 00:16:54

I think it mainly depends on who the primary carer is before the split, doesn't it?

Generally babies under a year or so are going to need to stay with their mothers, if they do the majority of the care, and especially if they are breastfed. If DH and I had split when DS was a baby then he would definitely have stayed with me and is unlikely to have had overnights very often.

If we split up now - DS is 2.5 and DH does a lot of childcare - I think we'd need to go for more 50/50 residency, neither or us would want to be apart from DS for more than a couple of days at a time.

AnneNonimous Sat 05-Jan-13 00:17:47

I guess I meant that there is something more to being a mother - that feeling that I had that would have meant they'd have to carry me away kicking screaming and biting from my DS before he was apart from me but exP happily went home when he could have stayed. 'Mothers instinct' sounds so blah but I can't quite think of anything suitable.

AnneNonimous Sat 05-Jan-13 00:19:08

bickie why is it that it changes do you think? And yes my DS is 9 months old.

AnneNonimous Sat 05-Jan-13 00:19:49

stupid please don't twist my words I'm not for one moment suggesting that.

chandellina Sat 05-Jan-13 00:21:17

I think it's just a general sense of responsibility or reliability to care for your child that falls upon women for mainly societal reasons but I imagine there are biological forces at work as well since women are the main caregivers from birth.

SamSmalaidh Sat 05-Jan-13 00:22:21

The relationship is different when they are little babies - how could it not be? You grow them inside you, feed them with your body, you're tuned in with them... I've yet to meet a father who has the same relationship with a little baby as the mother.

Once they're are 2, 3, 4+ though, there's no reason why the father shouldn't have just as much of a relationship unless he has chosen not to, or because of working arrangements.

HeffalumpsAndWoozles Sat 05-Jan-13 00:22:39

Anne I think I see what you're getting at and I think YANBU (assuming I have understood correctly!) but I am only going on my own limited experience. DH and I have two DDs ages 2.4 and 3 months, for the first year ish of DD1s life he was a bit rubbish, and this seems to be occurring again with dd2, he is now brilliant with dd1 and is endlessly patient for toddler games and fantastically enthusiastic. I'm sure when dd2 is past the 'scary delicate baby' stage he will be just as good with her. However the very fact that he has taken a little while to get into his stride shows to me that instinct, in our case, is much more developed in the mother's case than the father's. I know it would hurt me on a much deeper level to be separated from my DCs, even though I know he loves them dearly. I also know that this is just speaking from what I have experienced and that every parent and relationship is different.

I'm not sure if I've helped or not there really!

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:23:30

I can sort of see a bit about what you are trying to say. To grow a baby inside you, to carry it for 9 months, all those hormonal changes and then to give birth is a very different feeling to "being a dad". I can't imagine all that but I am very envious you can do that. And then to be the main carer, to breast feed all helps reinforce that closeness that it can be hard to have as a Dad.

But then as a dad, you do get close your children and you try to make the most of your precious time (bearing in mind society expects men to work full time) with your children - whilst balancing the demands of running a house.

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Jan-13 00:24:21

It says something for the way you are cantthink, if you were annoyed at your ex and expected her to do something she wasn't comfortable with just because you saw other peoples DPs going out.

Did you make that plain to her I wonder? I'm sure you'd say you didn't, but I'm also sure subtle pressure was applied if you were both in the car and she was so upset it made her cry.

Why would you do that?

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:26:26

But that does not mean that a dad cannot be just as good a carer when they get older.

But as I said upthread, the needs of the children come before the needs of an adult. And it is sad that so many Dads do run away and not support their exes in anyway. Even though we are separated, I am doing my best to ensure my ex is supported in ensuring our son does not miss out or goes wanting.

bickie Sat 05-Jan-13 00:28:31

Anne, not sure why - probably evolution, we are programmed to start helping them develop to be independent - and both of you can do that. But it does happen. And believe me, I was the alpha tiger mum - no one would come between me and my babies - but things change. In a good way!!! It is a good thing that men are able to fulfil their role as a parent - I wish my Dad had had the same opportunity.

Cathycomehome Sat 05-Jan-13 00:29:09

My year 8 son would go to his dad before me these days for some things. me for others. Baby son still indiscriminate, but whilst we love them equally, big son would mostly rather dad in a crisis now, unless it was a different sort of crisis, when he'd want me. Maybe I'm a crap mum, or maybe it's equal parenting.

CaHoHoHootz Sat 05-Jan-13 00:29:10

I am a mum and I think you are wrong. I am pretty sure i know the thread that has inspired this thread. I find a lot of the posts a bit odd. My DH loves our DC every bit as much as I do. I have more influence on how they are raised but that is because I spend more time with them. It has nothing to do with whether I am a mother or dad.

YABVU. And old fashioned and sexist.

What a ridiculous generalisation.

You have a very one sided view based on you and what you percieve your ex to feel (and I also notice you are going on about your feelings for the most part not those of your child) Maybe your ex doesn't act the way you act but it doesn't mean he doesn't feel the way you feel.

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:30:43

agent - you don't know me so please don't try and tell me how I am. I could tell you all about our relationship and how my ex was. How she was the one who demanded I go shopping in the evening so she could look after our son because she hadn't seen him all day - even though we'd both been out at work.

Or who expected me to do the cooking most of the time and the washing up so she could have our son. Or who criticised me when I offered my opinion on childcare. Or who didn't care a jolt about my feelings at all about anything.

Please don't tell me how I am.

AnyFucker Sat 05-Jan-13 00:32:15

To be fair, I fail to understand how anyone not in the throes of the 3 day baby blues or the grip of PND would cry tears when still only a few yards away from their child, who is probably being spoiled within an inch of it's life, while you get a well-deserved break from the full-on-ness of it all.

And I am a woman that has borne two of the buggers from my loins.

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Jan-13 00:34:39

I'm just going on what you've written in your posts cantthink, and pressuring your DP to leave her baby when she didn't want to to only go out isn't what I would call understanding and supportive.

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:36:15

agent I did not pressurise her. But thanks for reading things into what's not there. We both agreed to go out. We got a mile down the road. She burst into tears so we came back.

Problem with that?

Cathycomehome Sat 05-Jan-13 00:38:33

I think I'm rubbish, as soon as my partner got home today (I'm off til Monday), my first response was "Thank God! I need 20 minutes in the bath!" . I had a lovely day with my children. I was so happy he happily said, "You go for a quick bath, I'll take over", and talked to DS 1 and fed ds2! Normal, surely?

We both usually work full time, but I have better holidays!

donnasummer Sat 05-Jan-13 00:39:17

I think you are generalising, or should I say extrapolating, op
My dc are with their dad now. Do I miss them? V honestly, no.

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:41:34

My ex misses our son. She rang us up everyday on our holiday and rings twice in the evening when he is with me to say goodnight.

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